Lyndsie
Nonfiction Novelist
Environmental Journalist
Travels from: British Columbia

“Absorbing. Part social history, part true crime,Tree Thieves is a riveting tale of timber heists plaguing forests from the redwoods to the Amazon.”—Ash Davidson, author of Damnation Spring

Lyndsie Bourgon (mostly) writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity. Her features have been published in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Aeon, The Walrus, Hazlitt, and elsewhere. In 2018, she traveled to Peru with National Geographic to document indigenous experiences of timber theft.

Lyndsie’s first book, Tree Thieves, was published in June 2022. It uses timber poaching to explore questions of inequality, conservation history, and how the natural world defines who we are.

Lyndsie’s oral history research focuses on the social and cultural experiences of natural resource extraction, agriculture, and land management. Her most recent projects cover land use along the Trans Mountain pipeline corridor, and the final days of British-Antarctic whaling.

In 2017 Lyndsie completed her MLitt Environmental History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She earned her Bachelor of Journalism (Honours) from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods

Little, Brown Spark |
Nonfiction

A gripping investigation of the billion-dollar timber black market “and a fascinating examination of the deep and troubled relationship between people and forests” (Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts)

There’s a strong chance that chair you are sitting on was made from stolen lumber. In Tree Thieves, Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way.

Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn’t include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results.

Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.

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Coming soon!

Everywhere Radio: Lyndsie Bourgon | Season 3, Episode 1

Vancouver Public Library | Lyndsie Bourgon: Tree Thieves

Lyndsie Bourgon with James Pogue

Oral History and Research

Articles and Essays

Honors, Awards & Recognition

New York Times Editors’ Choice
NPR Science Friday summer pick
Finalist, 2022 Banff Mountain Book Competition Environmental Literature award
National Magazine Awards, Society category nominee for “Herd Mentality” (2016)
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association Awards, Alberta story nominee for “Temporary Solution,
Permanent Problem” (2016)
The Banff Centre, Mountain and Wilderness Writing workshop (2013)
Calgary Arts Development Association, Artist Opportunity Grant, creative non-fiction (2013)
Kenneth R. Wilson Awards, feature-writing nominee for “Going Deeper Underground” (2012)
Toronto Arts Council Grant, creative non-fiction (2011)
The Atlantic Journalism Awards, Student Prize for Journalistic Excellence for “Reporting from the Front
Lines” (April 2008)
The John F. Godfrey Book Award, for contributions to the King’s School of Journalism (April 2008)
The Canadian University Press Student Journalism Awards, Best News Writing, third place for “More
Than a Dirty Finger” (November 2006)
The John F. Godfrey Scholarship for International Development (Fall 2006)
The Alexander Rutherford Scholarship (2004-2005)

Media Kit

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